It is well established that acute morphine withdrawal can be observed following opioid receptor antagonism in rodents. Glutamate receptor antagonists can attenuate the conditioning place aversion (CPA) induced by naloxone in single-dose, morphine-treated rats. Anatomically, the nucleus accumbens appears to be involved in opiate dependence. In the present study, we examined the effects of various glutamate receptor antagonists in the nucleus accumbens on naloxone-induced CPA in rats. MK-801 (an NMDA receptor antagonist), GYKI52466 (an AMPA receptor antagonist), and MCPG (a metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist) significantly attenuated naloxone-induced CPA following microinjection into the accumbens. In contrast, none of the agents showed place conditioning ability on their own in either morphine-exposed or naïve rats. The present study suggests that glutamate receptors in the nucleus accumbens play a key role in the motivational component of withdrawal during acute morphine dependence.
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